The Balinese cat is a Siamese cat dressed up in a medium-long silky white coat and a plumed tail. When they first appeared in the 1940’s, breeders thought they were just anomalies in the pure Siamese bloodlines. However, in the 1950’s, a breeder in New York and a breeder in California independently began to develop the new breed. Since long hair in a Siamese is a recessive gene, it takes a pair of long-haired Siamese to produce a long-haired kitten. The New York breeder, Helen Smith, chose the name “Balinese” because the graceful movements of the cat reminded her of the graceful dancers of the island of Bali. The first Longhaired Siamese was shown at a New York cat show in 1961. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) only recognizes the four official Siamese color varieties as Balinese and calls all other longhaired color varieties Javanese. Other cat fancy organization in the US and Britain allow many other longhaired color varieties to be grouped under the Balinese. The CFA granted the Balinese championship status in 1970.
- Elegant and even-tempered
- Petite but athletic
- One of the most petite cat breeds
- Intelligent but polite
What They Are Like to Live With
Extremely agile and graceful and polite, the Balinese is not prone to intentionally knocking over objects or misbehaving. They enjoy a game of fetch but equally enjoy taking naps in your lap.
Balinese Cats are often viewed as mellow versions of the Siamese. The Balinese is not as nosy or inquisitive or insistent as the Siamese. They are also far less vocal.
The Balinese enjoys hanging out in high places like the tops of doors and tall cat trees or tops of refrigerators.
Balinese crave company and fare best in homes with other pets.
The Temperament of Balinese Cat
Balinese are quieter and less demanding than their Siamese cousins. They are active and busy cats who love people and like to follow them around. Balinese have an insatiable curiosity and are always underfoot or investigating anything that interests them. They love high places and often will ride on the shoulders of their favorite people. They can be quite demanding of attention but enjoy being a lap cat. They are fairly active and like to play games. Balinese cats require toys and if you don’t provide them, they will find something else to make into a toy that you may not appreciate. Toys do not have to be elaborate. They will enjoy a game of soccer on a hardwood floor using a ping pong ball. Balinese are indoor cats. Like their cousins, the Siamese and Javanese, the Balinese are very talkative cats that use a fairly loud voice. Balinese do well with young active children but don’t enjoy being left alone during the day. If you have to leave your cat for long periods of time then you should acquire a second Balinese as a companion.
Balinese cats are very healthy and can live from 15 to 20 years if provided with a healthy diet and lots of exercises. The medium-long coat is easy to groom and a once per week light combing with a steel comb will suffice. This is a low maintenance cat except for the demands for attention.